How To Increase Average View Duration on YouTube

May 17, 2022


Table of Contents

What is the average view duration on YouTube?
Importance of having a high average view duration
How to increase average view duration
Plan video structure properly
Create engaging video intros
Ensure videos have high production quality
Add effects to videos when editing
Add chapters to videos

As a YouTube content creator, you want and should do everything in your power to keep the YouTube algorithm happy. 

One of the things you can do to ensure that the YouTube algorithm recommends your content in the search results or suggested videos section is to increase the average view duration for your videos on YouTube.

In this article, you will learn how to increase the average view duration on YouTube and why doing this is essential for your success as a YouTube creator.

But let’s first define what the average view duration is on YouTube.

What is the Average View Duration on YouTube?

Simply put, average view duration is a metric that YouTube uses to determine if a video is engaging and provides the answer to a viewer’s search query. 

The average view duration of a video on YouTube is calculated by dividing the total watch time of a video by the total number of views, including replays, it generated. 

average view duration formula

Importance of Having a High Average View Duration

Having a high average view duration on YouTube is important because it signals that viewers find your video content useful and enjoyable.

Because YouTube only wants to suggest the best content, its ranking algorithm uses this metric to decide whether or not to rank your video for the relevant search query. 

A low average view duration will reveal that viewers don’t like your content and that you should rethink your video creation strategy, the way you act in front of the camera, or the way that you present the content.

average view duration stats

Of course, you won’t have a 100% average watch duration because of multiple reasons, the one being that viewers close a video once they’ve received the information they’re looking for. 

Ideally, you should aim to have at least a 50 to 60% average watch duration, and nothing lower. Anything less than that is not good and requires further investigation as to why viewers drop off and stop watching your content after such a short while. 

How to Increase Average View Duration

Let’s discuss some of the ways in which you can increase the average view duration for your videos on YouTube.

Plan Video Structure Properly

Your videos’ structure, layout, and flow can have a big impact on the average view duration. 

You’ve got to structure your content much like the writer of a book or a producer of a movie structures his or her story. 

This means that you shouldn’t answer your viewer’s questions within the first 30 seconds of them watching your content.

Instead, your video structure should consist of a good intro that keeps your audience engaged and then slowly progress towards answering the viewer’s search query.

video structure

Ideally, you want your viewers to watch to the end of the video, so strategically place the main discussion points between the halfway point and the end of the video.

Always try to incentivize viewers for watching to the end of the video. This could be in the form of a giveaway, an additional tip or a hack that will help the viewer, etc.

Lastly, after discussing the main topic of your video, make sure to create an ending or conclusion that neatly wraps up your video. 

Additionally, if someone has progressed to the conclusion of your video it means that they’re really engaged with your content. This is the ideal place to mention any of your related YouTube videos.

Create Engaging Video Intros

The second key to increasing average view duration on YouTube is by creating engaging video intros. 

The reason for this is because an engaging video intro will keep viewers hooked until you share the most important section of your content. 

Creating a well-designed video intro will give the impression that you’re a professional YouTube creator and not some amateur who can’t be trusted. 

Thinking of a good YouTube intro idea can be challenging, so make a list of your competitors and check out their video intros for inspiration.

Here are a few things you should observe when spying on your competitors’ intros:

Note down whether they create a custom intro for each video or if they use the same intro for all their videos.

  • What type of music are they using in their intro?
  • Are their intros animated or not?

Use these findings as a foundation for your intro idea generation, but remember to create an introduction that is unique to your brand. 

Ensure Videos have High Production Quality

Having high video production quality is key to increasing the average view duration on YouTube. 

When the audio quality is poor, viewers will have a difficult time making out what you’re trying to say. This increases the odds of them bouncing off to find a video with better audio quality. 

The same could be said for the visual quality of the video. 

For instance, if the lighting on the footage is terrible and viewers can’t make out your face, they’ll get the impression that you’re an amateur and will go searching for a creator that seems more professional.

We’re not saying that you should go and buy the best YouTube equipment available on the market. 

In fact, you can create a video with good to high production quality using beginner YouTube equipment.

Most smartphones have excellent cameras, and adequate performing microphones can be bought at a relatively low price.

But if you can hear the wind blowing in the background or a dog barking, then you’ve got to rethink and re-evaluate your video production standards.

Always try to match or exceed the video production quality of the top-performing videos and competitors in your niche.

Add Effects to Videos when Editing

If you think that your job as a creator ends the moment you hit “stop recording", then you’re mistaken. 

After you’ve recorded your video content, the next phase is the video editing process. Video editing is all about making sure your content looks and sounds great, this ties in with the above section on production quality.

However, you should remember to add visual and audio effects to your videos during the editing phase too. Effects will make your video more entertaining to watch and can therefore have an impact on your video’s average view duration.

These effects include the following:

  • Adding main discussion points if your video is a “listicle” type of video. E.g. 5 Killer ab workouts for athletes.
  • Adding sounds and background music to your video.
  • Adding visual effects such as filters, overlays, and graphics to your video footage.

If your budget allows it, you could also hire a professional video editor to help you with this stage of the video creation process. 

Add Chapters to Videos

The last tip for how to increase average view duration on YouTube is to add chapters to your videos when uploading them to the YouTube platform.

You may be wondering why would you want to add chapters to your content if that will allow viewers to find the exact section they’re looking for. 

tuberanker chapters

The trick is to include “need-to-know” information all over the duration of your content.

The reality is YouTube chapters actually add to the viewing experience. Instead of having to guess where the most important information is, the viewer can get a clear picture of where to find it. 

This is because YouTube chapters give the viewer an “outline” of your video.

By including important information in different parts of your video, you’ll avoid the possibility of viewers skipping to certain sections only.


Average view duration forms part of a group of important YouTube metrics that creators need to keep an eye on.

Increasing the average view duration on YouTube is one of the things that they can do to increase the odds of their views obtaining higher rankings in the YouTube search results.

Follow the suggestions in this article if you want to increase your videos’ average view duration. 

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